Private cancer diagnostic services at HCA UK

You may have been referred by your GP or another healthcare professional for diagnostic tests based on certain symptoms. It is important to remember that your symptoms can often be related to another health condition and you do not necessarily have cancer, but it is important to determine your exact diagnosis quickly.

We ensure that our patients have rapid access to the most advanced diagnostic technology and tests, as well as expert-led interpretation of their results. If you are diagnosed with cancer, you may need additional diagnostic tests to confirm which type and stage of cancer you have. At this point your consultant will discuss your treatment plan with a group of cancer specialists at a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting to ensure you receive a personalised treatment plan.

At various points in your treatment plan it is likely your consultant will refer you for diagnostic assessments. These diagnostic tests help your consultant to measure how well you are responding to treatment and means we can continually monitor, review and adapt your treatment to best suit your individual medical needs. 

Our diagnostic tests and scans

  • CT and PET CT scans icon plus

    Computerised tomography (CT) scans can help to make an initial cancer diagnosis, plan treatment and assess the effectiveness of treatment.

    Across our hospitals and outpatient centres, we are equipped with some of the very latest CT scanning technology, including 4D CT and PET-CT, which combines computerised tomography with positron emission tomography (PET) technology.

    Our state-of-the-art scanning facilities give faster, safer and clearer results and are operated by expert radiologists who specialise in specific tumour types. These services can provide early detection of tumours, detailed diagnosis, more accurate cancer staging and treatment response assessments.

  • Endoscopy icon plus

    Endoscopy is a procedure that examines the inside of your body with a flexible, thin, long tube that has a camera and light source on the end. This tube is called an endoscope.

    We have invested in the latest endoscopy equipment and dedicated facilities to make sure you receive the best possible care. We offer a number of endoscopic procedures including gastroscopy, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, hysteroscopy, cystoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound.

    At HCA Healthcare UK, we are one of only a few private providers to offer the advanced video capsule endoscopy. This procedure involves swallowing a small, pill-sized camera that transmits images to a data recorder.

    Our expert team will advise you on which endoscopic procedure you require based on your symptoms and provide more information about how to prepare for these tests.

  • Genetic testing icon plus

    We offer germ line genetic testing to assess your inherited risk of developing cancer. These tests allow you to make an informed decision about potential risk reducing treatments if required.

    You may be concerned that cancer runs in your family, in some cases specific inherited genes are linked to breast, ovarian, colorectal and prostate cancers. If you meet the clinical criteria based on a family history of cancer or other clinical risk factors you may be eligible for hereditary genetic testing.

    Our Hereditary Cancer Genetic clinics are led by expert consultant geneticists, who will guide and support you throughout the genetic testing process. If you do decide to go ahead with genetic testing, our consultants are on hand to explain test results and advise on any risk-reducing strategies or treatments.



  • MRI scans icon plus

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are used to build a detailed picture of the body, and they are able to show soft tissue areas clearly. MRI scans can be used to make an initial diagnosis, to assess which stage the cancer is at, to inform treatment plans, and measure blood flow.

    We have invested in the latest MRI scanners to provide you with an accurate diagnosis with clearer and faster results.

  • PET scans icon plus

    Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are used to build detailed 3D images of the inside of the body. PET scans can be used to determine how well a certain part of the body is functioning, as well as building a visual image of the area.

    PET scans are particularly helpful in further investigating a confirmed cancer diagnosis, exploring whether the cancer has spread and measuring treatment response. PET scans will often be combined with CT scans (known as PET-CT) and MRI scans (known as PET-MRI). This helps to build the most detailed picture for consultants to review.

    At HCA Healthcare UK, we have invested in the latest technology to ensure you receive the most accurate diagnosis and the best treatment available.

  • Pathology icon plus

    Pathology is an integral part of diagnosing cancer, through blood tests, biopsies and other investigations. At HCA UK we have invested in our own integrated laboratories to offer the latest pathology services, including advanced digital pathology, which provides easy transfer of high quality images.

    Our specialist labs offer histopathology, cytopathology, haematology, blood transfusion, biochemistry and cellular pathology. We benefit from the expertise of the UK’s leading pathology consultants who can diagnose even the most complex cancers.

    At HCA UK we are the only private provider to operate an advanced molecular diagnostic lab, Sarah Cannon Molecular Diagnostics, offering the latest in genomic testing.

  • Ultrasound icon plus

    Ultrasound scans can be used to create pictures of specific organs or areas inside the body by using sound wave frequency. These scans can be used to help make an initial diagnosis and to assess the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

    There are different types of ultrasound scans. And depending on your symptoms or diagnosis, our expert team will advise you of the type of ultrasound you need and any preparation required for your scan.

    Occasionally other diagnostic tests may be performed at the same time as your ultrasound. For example, if your consultant notices any unusual areas, they may perform a biopsy or fine needle aspiration (FNA). These tests collect a sample of cells from that area that can be sent to our labs for further analysis. Your consultant will discuss this in detail with you before your procedure.

  • Staging tests icon plus

    If you have been diagnosed with cancer it may be necessary to carry out some additional tests to determine the stage of your cancer and if it has spread to any other part of your body. These tests will give your consultant the information they need to provide you with the best possible treatment plan.

    Depending on what type of cancer you have been diagnosed with, our expert team will discuss what types of staging or grading is used, what stage or grade your cancer is and what treatment options are available to you.

Sarah Cannon Molecular Diagnostics

Molecular diagnostics and genomic data is playing an increasing role in diagnosing and treating cancer, particularly in personalised treatment plans involving new and innovative therapies.


Sarah Cannon Molecular Diagnostics is part of HCA Healthcare UK and provides a range of genomic tests using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology.


Each tumour is unique to the individual and our somatic genetic tests focus on specific somatic gene mutations within your individual tumour. NGS technology allows us to examine multiple genes simultaneously and get a better understanding of what is driving your specific cancer and the best treatment for you.


Our tests can help patients with solid tumours, in common cancers including lung, colorectalbreast, and melanoma.


If you have just been diagnosed with cancer you may benefit from our tests, which can make sure you get a personalised treatment plan tailored to your specific cancer.


Our tests can also help patients with advanced cancers, who have perhaps exhausted their standard care options and are seeking innovative therapies or potential clinical trials.


We operate a dedicated Genomics Review Board (GRB). This board of clinical experts are skilled in interpreting genomic data to determine test results and advise on the best treatment options or open clinical trials.

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment in London, Birmingham or Manchester with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 7079 4344
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